Hornchurch & Upminster MP, Julia Lopez, is encouraging families to respond to a consultation for a new special educational needs unit at a Hornchurch school, a year on from a government pledge to roll out more school places.
Last April, the government announced that children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) in England would benefit from a £280 million investment, giving councils like Havering the funding to create new places in schools, academies, colleges and early years setting.
Havering Council now plans to create a new SEND unit at Suttons Primary School, providing twelve new places for local pupils. The council’s vision is for SEND children to enjoy their education in the most inclusive environment possible and be supported in participating as fully as they can in the lives of their schools and communities in their childhood.
If the Suttons plan gets the go ahead, the new school places will be available from September 2023 and will be flexible and adapted to pupils’ individual needs. Cited on an underused parcel of land opposite the main school building, the designated unit will have a secure garden for play, calm room and activity room.
Mrs Lopez said, “Since my election in 2017, I have conducted countless school visits, spoken to parents in my surgery and dealt with complex casework relating to the provision of special educational needs. Getting the right support in place for children can be a major anxiety for parents, who understandably want the very best care and education that can be provided in as integrated an environment as possible.
I know that there is substantial demand for high quality SEND provision and that families benefit most when that provision is close to where they live. I have successfully lobbied for more central government SEND funding as a result of the work my team and I have done with parents and teachers. Now I want to make sure that Havering families benefit from that, so I am glad to see any proposal that seeks to expand provision, especially at a great primary school like Suttons.”
The consultation, now live, closes on 2 May and can be completed online or by post.